Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Largest Children’s Museum, Indianapolis, IN

I have never been to Indiana. This month’s guest post, combined with our oh-so-popular guest post on the world’s largest toilet, has me seriously intrigued.   There’s a lot going on in the “Crossroads of America!”

Since we wrote about another children’s museum last week, I thought it would be fun to continue the theme today. The world’s largest children’s museum is in Indianapolis. This place is a Go BIG trifecta! Not only is the facility itself the world’s largest, within it are the world’s largest permanent sculpture by Dale Chihuly, and North America’s largest water clock!

Children's museum

And, as a quick search reveals, the city is also now home to the world’s largest JW Marriott property.

Our valued contributor is Nicole Wiltrout, a stay-at-home Indianian (yes, it’s a word) who rarely stays home! I can tell she is an enthusiastic family traveler; she awarded the museum a “10” on our sliding scale, where 1 = “snoozefest,” and 10 = “add to your bucket list.” So now we definitely have to get to Indiana. Here’s hoping Nicole has enough room in her house to host the four of us…

Nicole writes about adventures with her husband and 2-year-old son at Arrows Sent Forth.

Dinosaur

This is where my son would have FREAKED.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

We went to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest children’s museum. Our group featured three generations exploring the museum: myself, my mom and my 20-month-old son.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

I’ve lived in Indianapolis for the past 20 years, and the Children’s Museum is a cultural landmark in the city. Needless to say, I’ve been at least a dozen times. But I had never taken my son until this trip.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

There are 5 stories of exhibits to delight kids and adults. It has an amazing Dinosphere, where creatures of the past literally come to life during a thunderstorm. There’s an outstanding train exhibit, which features a real 35-foot, 55-ton steam engine. An exhibit devoted to Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White is really moving for older kids. For kids 5 and under, Playscape is the place to be.  The top floor has several hands-on science exhibits. And no trip to the museum is complete without a spin around the carousel!

If you have more time to spend at the museum, you can see a show at the Lilly Theatre or the SpaceQuest Planetarium. Or you can go on a dinosaur dig in the fully-functioning paleontology lab. There’s even a children’s library inside the museum.

My two favorite exhibits are the Fireworks of Glass, devoted to the world’s largest permanent sculpture by Dale Chihuly, and the Egypt exhibit.

Chihuly

"Fireworks of Glass." Awesome.

There’s also a constant flow of new temporary exhibits. A section of the museum devoted to Barbie will hang around through September 2011. In February, an exhibit about Dora and Diego opened up (sure to be a hit among the Nick Jr. crowd!)

Readers of Go BIG or Go Home would also be interested to know that this museum has North America’s largest water clock in the atrium. It keeps time via water (sort of like a gigantic sand timer, only with water). On New Year’s Eve, they do a fun “countdown ‘til noon” event in front of this clock.

water clock

This is cool too! I gotta get there!

How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list): 

Definitely a 10. If you’re planning a weekend in Indianapolis with kids, or are just passing through town, you must stop here.

A little background info about the place:

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is located at 3000 N. Meridian Street, about a 5 minute drive north from the downtown area (and just a few blocks away from I-65). Admission is $16.50 for adults and $11.50 for kids 2-17. In the winter, the museum is closed on Mondays.

The museum also has an active Twitter feed (@TCMIndy) and Facebook account.

sand table

3 comments

  1. eb said,
    March 10, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    What a great place. I’m definitely putting that on my list. The Fireworks of Glass is wonderful.

  2. Michaela said,
    March 10, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    Saw your blog profiled on travelblogs.com. What a great idea for a blog!!

    I’m American but currently live in Spain, where I don’t think we have anything as big as the things featured on your site (love that Fireworks of Glass!). As much as I love Spain, yes I do sometimes miss the things we have in America 🙁

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